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nuclear nightmare. a high ranking american official says the trouble at the crippled japanese power plant is worse than reported. emergency crews are working frantically to prevent a full-blown meltdown, as the u.s. authorizes the first evacuations full-blown meltdown, as the u.s. authorizes the first evacuations of american citizens. captioning funded by cbs good morning, everybody, and thanks for joining us, i'm betty nguyen. the united states will begin evacuating americans out of japan amid growing concern over the nuclear plant crisis. here's the latest. japanese military helicopters have begun dumping water on the
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crippled power plant to try to cool overheated nuclear fuel. engineers are trying to install a new power line so they can restore power to the plant's cooling system. a top u.s. nuclear official says he believes radiation levels at the plant are extremely high, and will soon be deadly. the obama administration has urged the evacuation of all americans from a 50-mile radius of the fukushima daiichi plant. now, charter planes will be brought in to help those wanting to leave the country. charlie d'agata is in yoshida, japan, with more on this. good morning, charlie. tell us the latest where you are. >> good morning to you, betty. well, you may be wondering where i am. we've been trying to make our way to the quake zone. the japanese military has taken over all the highways. obviously we're trying to steer clear of the nuclear power plant. we had to cut through the mountains where, as you may see, it's snowing. military helicopters launched an
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all-out water assault on japan's crippled nuclear power plant in a desperate attempt to buy more time. crews are racing to finish a new power line that could restore crucial water pumps. the best option many experts say to cool dangerously hot reactors, and prevent a nuclear meltdown. >> my confidence has eroded somewhat because of this continual, almost daily, degradation in the infrastructure that they have there. >> reporter: the facility has been plagued by a series of explosions and fires since last week's earthquake and tsunami knocked out power. newly released images show the extent of damage to reactor 4. japan is denying u.s. claims that same reactor has no more water in its spent fuel pools. meaning, there's nothing to keep the fuel rods from melting down. >> we believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective
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measures. >> reporter: the u.s. is urging all americans to steer clear of the troubled plant. late last night the state department said it would arrange charter flights to help u.s. citizens leave japan. all americans living within 50 miles of the plant are also being encouraged to evacuate or stay indoors. that's 2 1/2 times as wide as the danger zone established by the japanese. president obama discussed the precautions the u.s. is taking in a phone call with japan's prime minister last night. he also vowed to do everything possible to help japan recover from its worst crisis since world war ii. the u.s. military says it will begin flying its unmanned surveillance aircraft high over that nuclear power plant to try to get a better view of what's happening down below. betty? >> charlie, i want to get an idea of how these evacuations are supposed to work. can you tell me what you know. >> well, right now the first
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priority from the state department is on all diplomatic personnel and their families who want to leave. then they say, if there are american citizens who aren't able to get a flight out of here, they'll do what they can to arrange charter flights for them, too. betty? >> all right, charlie d'agata, joining us live from japan. charlie, thank you. a forecast by the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty organization indicates how weather patterns could disperse the radiation from japan. while the forecast does not show actual radiation levels, it shows the plume touching the aleutian islands today and then moving to the california coast late tomorrow. experts say any radioactive plume will be diluted as it travels, and worst case, will have extremely minor consequences in the u.s. japan was warned back in december 2008 that a strong earthquake could present a serious problem for its nuclear power plants, according to documents released by wikileaks. the warning came from an international atomic energy agency expert. he was speaking at a nuclear
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safety meeting in tokyo and said japan's reactors were only designed to withstand a magnitude 7 quake. last friday's quake measured 9.0. the iaea official also said japan's safety guidelines were outdated. energy secretary steven chu says he thinks the japanese nuclear crisis may be more serious than the 1979 disaster at pennsylvania's three mile island facility. but, chu testifying on capitol hill yesterday said things are happening so fast in japan that it's really not clear what's going on. >> there are conflicting reports, and so we don't really know in detail what's happening. >> it isn't just u.s. officials who are trying to get a handle on what is actually happening in japan. it is the japanese people, as well. bill whitaker has that part of the story. >> reporter: the fallout from japan's worst nuclear accident is growing panic, and suspicion the government and tepco, the
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tokyo electric power company, are not telling the whole truth. they established a 20-mile danger zone, but fear in japan has spread much farther. "i think the government is trying to hide something," she says. "the prime minister and tepco say we are fine, but things keep happening that say we aren't fine." tepco, established in 1951, just six years after the nuclear blast that ended world war ii, is the fourth largest electric company in the world. it operates 17 nuclear reactors, and often finds itself in hot water. in 2002, top executives resigned in disgrace, when tepco was found to have falsified reports and concealed accidents at nuclear plants 200 times over 25 years. industry watchdogs say it's wise to be skeptical. "tepco did not tell the truth in the past and they're not telling the truth now," he says. even prime minister kan seems to doubt he's getting the whole story.
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publicly he urged citizens to stay calm. privately he exploded what the hell is going on at tepco executives who waited an hour to tell him about the first explosion. nuclear experts say the crisis is dangerous. unreliable information makes it worse. >> the japanese public is uncertain about the accuracy of the information, and that is inhibiting an effective crisis response. >> reporter: more unnerving, events at fukushima are unfolding so fast, tepco and the government may not know what's happening. the people of japan want answers in this crisis. the lack of information is leaving them in the dark. bill whitaker, cbs news, tokyo. now to the revolt in libya. countries wanting a no-fly zone to try and corral moammar gadhafi's air force want the u.n. security council to vote on the resolution today. libyan planes and troops are pounding the rebel-held town of ajdabiya. only pockets of rebel resistance remain and it is reported that
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gadhafi has given orders to kill whoever is found in the city. if ajdabiya falls, government troops have a clear path to the rebel stronghold of benghazi. "the new york times" says four of its journalists covering the revolt in libya are missing. they were last heard from tuesday as they were covering the battle at ajdabiya. the "times" records libyan officials say they are trying to locate the journalists. there are unconfirmed reports that they're being held by pro-gadhafi forces. the american cia contractor charged with murder in pakistan is in afghanistan, where he is being debriefed by u.s. officials according to the associated press. raymond davis was released yesterday, after pakistan paid $2.3 million in so-called blood money to the families of the two men he shot and killed. in january, davis said he was being robbed, and acted in self-defense. his wife says davis is not a killer. >> cool-headed, even-tempered, highly trained. you know, i knew that he did
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what he had to do because he had to do it. it was either kill or be killed. and i'm sure he was thinking, in that split second, you know, i'm not going to die today. this is not my turn. >> the families of the men davis shot dropped the charges, as soon as they received the money. just ahead on the "morning news," wall street takes a huge hit. plus, why costs are going up at the grocery store. you're watching the "cbs morning news." depression is a serious medical condition that can take so much out of you. i feel like i have to wind myself up just to get out of bed. then, well, i have to keep winding myself up to deal with the sadness, the loss of interest, trouble concentrating, the lack of energy. [ male announcer ] if depression is taking so much out of you, ask your doctor about pristiq. pristiq is a prescription medicine proven to treat depression. pristiq is thought to work by affecting the levels of two chemicals in the brain -- serotonin and norepinephrine.
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for me, pristiq is a key in helping me treat my depression. [ giggles ] hey, max. [ announcer ] you can help significantly extend your dog's healthy years. a groundbreaking 14-year study by purina... proves that puppy chow, then dog chow nutrition, fed properly over a lifetime, can help extend his lovable antics up to 1.8 healthy years. long live your buddy. [ laughs ] oh, max. long live your dog. purina dog chow. double dog dare you to try better-tasting than ever purina dog chow. we know your dog will love it. on the "cbs moneywatch," get ready to dig deeper into your wallet at the grocery store. and netflix may get its first tv series. ashley morrison is here in new york with more on that. good morning, ashley. >> good morning to you, betty. fears about the nuclear crisis in japan creeped back into the asian markets. erasing yesterday's gains. this morning, tokyo's nikkei fell around 1.5%, while hong kong's hang seng dropped just about 2%. today, wall street gets the
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very latest on inflation and a look at the weekly jobless claim numbers. on wednesday, it was the worst day for the markets in months. stocks plunged from the start and never got any better, wiping out all their gains so far this year. when it was over the dow slid 242 points. its worst day since august, while the nasdaq lost 50 and the s&p 500 was down 2%. those high prices at the supermarket are about to get higher. food prices at the wholesale level rose 4% last month, the biggest jump in 36 years. cold weather accounted for most of it, forcing stores and restaurants to pay more for produce, meat and dairy. supermarkets are warning that in the days ahead, produce may be lower quality, or quantity may be limited. netflix is looking to break into original programming. the company's trying to buy the rights to a kevin spacey series called "house of cards" and air the episodes on the internet before they show up on tv. it's a bold move for netflix.
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while the company has made its name renting movies and tv shows, this would be the first time it shows material first. and the first 4g cell phone goes on cell today. the htc comes with a price tag of around $250 as long as you sign a two-year contract with verizon. it comes equipped with a large four-inch touch screen and uses google's android operating system. verizon says customers can expect download speeds nearly ten times what they're used to on 3g networks. betty, ten times faster makes me feel like i'm on turtle mode right now. >> i don't even know, 3g, 4g, 5g, whatever. >> it's just faster. >> ashley morrison joining us live here in new york. straight ahead your thursday morning weather. and a royal blunder. a commemorative mug has kate middleton marrying the wrong prince. you're watching the "cbs morning news." i'm good about washing my face.
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here's a look at the weather in some cities around the country. new york, sunny, 61 degrees. miami, sunny, 84. chicago, it's going to be windy, 61 there. dallas, windy as well but 80 degrees. and l.a. a sunny 70 degrees. time now for a check of the national forecast. the latest satellite picture shows skies clearing in the northeast, and it is picture perfect in the southern plains. later today, there will be a lull in the wet weather in the
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northwest with heavy rain returning in the evening. the northeast will be warm and sunny. and the midwest will be much warmer than normal. investigators in southern california are trying to determine what caused a fiery plane crash that killed five people yesterday. the twin engine beech craft had just taken off from long beach airport and was circling back when it crashed and burst into flames. one survivor is hospitalized in critical condition. secretary of state hillary clinton says she has no interest in a second term as the top u.s. diplomat, even if president obama is re-elected. on a stop in egypt yesterday, clinton was asked if she would stay on for a second obama term, and if she might run again for president. to both questions, she said no. well, if you want a souvenir for next month's royal wedding, here is one that is sure to be a collector's item. it's a mug with the wrong mug. yep, that's right. that's kate middleton right there, check it out on the right. but the picture on the left
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labeled will is actually prince william's younger brother harry. he looks pretty pleased with himself, too. in other news, president obama has march madness. the commander in chief broke out the brackets to pick his final four teams for ncaa basketball. and they are duke, pittsburgh, ohio state, and kansas, who he hopes will win it all. you can watch second round coverage today starting at noon, right here on cbs. when we return, could it happen here? a look at the nuclear technology in our own backyard. plus, a story of true loyalty. the dog who refused to leave his injured buddy after the quake hit. this is the "cbs morning news." ,,,,,,
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on the "cbs morning news," here's a look at today's weather. the northeast will start to warm up nicely. it will be cloudy and dreary in the northwest with showers and fog. cool temperatures and showers will fly through the northern
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plains, while snow showers blanket the central rockies. a new poll shows american support for nuclear power has dropped sharply since the earthquake in japan. the "usa today"/gallup survey found 47% oppose building more nuclear power plants in this country. 44% support it. that is down from 57% support, in a similar poll conducted shortly before the quake. so, how safe are existing nuclear reactors in this country? the truth is, a lot of them are just like those now threatening disaster in japan. john blackstone explains. >> reporter: the nuclear emergency in japan is of particular significance to americans living close to older nuclear reactors of exactly the same design as the crippled japanese plant. 23 of the boiling water reactors mark-1, built by general electric, mostly in the 1970s, are still operating at 16 plants spread across much of the
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country. it's a design that has worried dale brydenbaugh for 35 years, since he worked as a safety manager for ge. he was disturbed by the possible consequences if a plant ever lost power. >> i was most concerned about the fact that we discovered that we didn't really know what would happen. >> reporter: when ge and the utilities operating their reactors ignored his concerns, he and two colleagues quit in 1976. >> the containment system response would be a failure similar to what we're seeing now at fukushima. >> reporter: the mark-1 containment system is somewhat more compact than others but still has multiple layers of metal and reinforced concrete surrounding the fuel rods. but the mark-1 also has a unique feature. the spent fuel rods, which are still radioactive, are stored for cooling in water-filled pools above the containment structure, under a much lighter roof.
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at fukushima, those spent rods have caused big problems. brydenbaugh acknowledges the improvements over the years but says the same danger remains for the mark-1 reactors still operating here. >> anything that would wipe out the backup power system to those plants could result in the same thing that's happening at fukushima. >> reporter: while the risk is there, so is the need for energy. with 20% of our electricity coming from nuclear plants, even the older ones are still considered essential. john blackstone, cbs news, san francisco. well, amid all the death and destruction, a heartwarming story of true loyalty. rescuers found a dog in northeast japan living in the rubble. he could have run away, but decided to stay behind to protect his severely injured friend. as you can see, he stands guard right next to the wounded dog. well, we are happy to report both dogs were taken to a vet, and are now getting much-needed medical attention. there's no word on whether their owners survived. quite a story.
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this morning on "the early show," the latest on the nuclear crisis in japan. i'm betty nguyen. this is the "cbs morning news." [ female announcer ] all you need for sensitive skin.
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it's st. patrick's day, lots of stars and almost a full moofnlt meteorologist tim williams is in. we're looking at a niece day, very mild. we're going up to a daytime high in the mid-60s. it's completely clear. we're going do see a good bit of sunshine. the forecast high goes up to 65, down into the mid-30s and 40s tonight and 77 tomorrow. we'll have your complete updated forecast. in the news the last ditch attempt to save thousands is being done in japan to stop a
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potential nuclear meltdown. >> a college student from maryland disappears. his car was found abandoned. sure, it's cute, but is it worth more than a million bucks in we'll explain what makes this dog so special. more knew, first warning weather and your first traffic report of the st. patrick's day holiday in the st. patrick's day holiday in a
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CBS Morning News
CBS March 17, 2011 4:30am-5:00am EDT

News/Business. Betty Nguyen. News reports on current events. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY U.s. 12, Tepco 6, Japan 5, Patrick 4, Tokyo 4, Fukushima 4, New York 4, Ajdabiya 3, Us 3, Blackstone 2, Max 2, Charlie D'agata 2, Bill Whitaker 2, Ashley Morrison 2, Cbs 2, Pristiq 2, Neutrogena Naturals 2, Davis 2, Charlie 2, Libya 2
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